JAMMU: The biggest grain market in Jammu wore a deserted look on Saturday as the local traders' body decided to continue the weekend lockdown amid the detection of the first case of COVID-19 Delta Plus variant in the province.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on June 20 announced the lifting of the weekend curfew from eight districts, including Jammu, owing to a significant improvement in Covid-19 situation.
All shops and business establishments in the Nehru Market and adjoining areas including Asia Chowk and Vikram chowk remained closed in response to the call given by Traders Federation Ware House Nehru Market.
"We have decided to continue the weekend lockdown for the next three weeks as a precautionary measure in view of the detection of the first Delta Plus variant case and the apprehension of the third wave," the federation president Deepak Gupta said.
On June 23, the principal of Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu, Shashi Sudhan Sharma said the first case of the Delta Plus variant, classified as variant of concern, was detected in Katra township of Reasi district.
Gupta hailed the efforts of the Union Territory administration in bringing down the curve of daily case count and deaths but said "we all should take extra care and strictly follow the SOPs to win this war against COVID-19."
"Although administration has lifted the weekend lockdown and allowed us to open shops for the whole week, as a responsible trade organisation, we have decided to continue the weekend lockdown for the next three weeks," he said.
He said all shops would remain closed on every Saturday and Sunday during this period.
Meanwhile, the shops and business establishments reopened in most parts of Jammu district along with Samba, Kathua, Reasi and Udhampur in Jammu province and Shopian, Ganderbal and Bandipora in Kashmir in accordance with the government order.
However, these establishments remained closed in the rest of the 12 districts across Jammu and Kashmir owing to the weekend lockdown restrictions, officials said.